The Wounded Frontier has been accepted for publication by Double Dragon Publishing. In Book Five of the Jack Commer science fiction series, Supreme Commander Jack Commer pushes for exploration far beyond Sol in the untested Typhoon V when a star thirty-four light years away abruptly vanishes, leaving the infrared signature of a Dyson sphere apparently built within one week.
Laurie Lachrer, last seen in a walk-on part as a teenaged spaceport technician in Book One, The Martian Marauders, has by 2075 gone through the specialized USSF Medical and Engineering School with an eye to becoming one of the elite physician/engineers to fly on the Typhoon–class spaceships. To Jack’s astonishment the shy, petite redhead of 2034 has graduated number one in her med school class and in the top three percent of Engineering.
From The Wounded Frontier:
“The big question is,” Jack continued, looking back and forth between Laurie and Will, “can you two work on the same ship?”
Laurie sat back, avoiding Lee Borman’s eyes, which wasn’t too difficult as they seemed locked on her chest. Why was this damn little senator/turret gunner leering at her? Why was Jack haranguing Will like this?
“Well, we–we never planned to be on the same ship anyway–uh, sir … I mean, you know Will’s resigning, after all–”
Jack calmly scrutinized her. She felt Lee’s ongoing leer travelling up to her cheeks, then falling dreamily back to her breasts. She fought the urge to close her dress with her fingers. It wasn’t possible, there was so much skin and so little fabric–
Why am I in this goddamn dress? Why didn’t I insist on staying in uniform?
“I–I told Joe I could be back at 2300 if he needed me,” she babbled. “I probably need to–to–”
“You don’t need to report back to Joe.” She found herself staring incredulously into Jack’s brown eyes. They seemed eerily calm and friendly despite what she knew he meant.
Firing me? For being out of uniform? When I’m technically off duty?
“Take an extra hour. Report to me at the V at 0000 hours. You’re our new physician/engineer if I didn’t make myself clear.”
“You–me? That–that can’t be! Uh, excuse me, sir, I mean–but you know–I’m needed on the III. And I don’t know the first thing about the V—”
“Meng’s taking physician/engineer on the III. Have to say Joe was upset at losing you, but Meng’s damn good.”
“But–you should have Meng for the V! He’s the best! He practically designed the Enhanced!”
“And Joe says he’s been picking up on your solutions to all the III series problems, and he’s damn impressed with ’em. Meanwhile, I checked the records and there was only one physician/engineer on any of the Typhoon class ships who completed the V Series Overview Class.”
“Oh … well, I was interested, and I knew we’d be building more V’s soon …”
“If the economy will support another one!” Lee laughed.
Laurie looked away. Okay, so Typhoons are expensive! I wonder if Jack saw those SolNet headlines about him wrecking the IV? Probably another reason those protestors were so riled up–
But dammit, that’s not the point! What’s Jack trying to PULL here?
“Wait! Jack! I mean, sir! Am I really–really on the V? As of–as of now?”
“As of this very second, Colonel! Welcome aboard!”
“Well–well–I–I’d better get going right–right now, then–” She scooted from her chair but to her consternation found Lee Borman’s hairy hand on her forearm and his eyes again eagerly delving into her cleavage.
“Take it easy, Colonel,” Jack grinned. “We have some time. We need to get Will on board next! I can order you, but not him.”
To her chagrin Laurie had completely forgotten about Will next to her. She shook off Lee’s hand and looked over to Will staring back white-faced.
“Wow, Jack … I really … really don’t know …” Will muttered. “I mean, this is all so weird …”
“We–we can do it, Will,” she found herself saying against all expectations, resisting the urge to grab his hand again.
Because what if he’s an officer comrade again? God, I can’t act like Will’s girlfriend!
Books in the Jack Commer Series:
The Martian Marauders (eBook and paperback)
After the evacuation of the Earth’s population to Mars, the crew of the Typhoon I spaceship must fight native Martian terrorists led by their new human Emperor, political agitator and traitor Sam Hergs. But Captain Jack Commer compromises the mission when he kidnaps the Emperor’s consort and falls in love with her.
Jack Commer, Supreme Commander (eBook and paperback)
Jack Commer brings poor negotiating skills to the war with the fascist Alpha Centaurian Empire, losing his crew to Centaurian brainwashing as he and his wife are sent to be tortured on a barren planet.
Nonprofit Chronowar (eBook and paperback)
Ranna Kikken creates The Committee to End Suffering on Planet Earth at her nonprofit Cat Farm, but its first conference in 2020 is destroyed when intruder Joe Commer time travels from 2036 to lecture CTESOPE on the destruction of the Earth in 2033 and the resulting evacuation of the remnants of humanity to Mars.
Collapse and Delusion (forthcoming from Double Dragon Publishing)
Former Typhoon II ship’s engineer Phil Sperry struggles with his reversion to Alpha Centaurian brainwashing and his treason to the human race.
The Wounded Frontier (forthcoming from Double Dragon Publishing)
Supreme Commander Jack Commer pushes for exploration far beyond Sol in the untested Typhoon V when a star thirty-four light years away abruptly vanishes, leaving the infrared signature of a Dyson sphere apparently built within one week.
Copyright 2013 by Michael D. Smith